About Me

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I have spent a great deal of my life battling illness. I suffered from Crohn's Disease and eventually had abdominal surgery, thwarting the Crohn's and budding cancer cells. Since my surgery in 1995 I have been relatively free from Crohns', although I had several subsequent surgeries related to my ileostomy..When my disease was in remission, I don't think my husband realized how bad it could get, but he has stood by me. I also have suffered from various autoimmune disorders and am diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Disease. Fortunately, I am maintaining and do not need dialysis at this point. We adopted our son and later found out he had cerebral palsy, so he became my career. Dan has had two surgeries and tons of therapy and is able to walk because of it. He is a college graduate and is employed as an Information Specialist. We are very proud of his accomplishements. I am now part of the retired generation and still getting used to the idea. I do enjoy crafting, traveling and being with family and friends. I am active in my church and feel that the hardships we endure are there to build our faith. I like to live life in the "now" as we never know how much time is left.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Walking Through the Valley

The first in a series of musings.

There has been much conversation about suicide since within only a week,
Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain both took their lives.
I am saddened.  I have been thinking of the sorrow caused by their deaths and 
many others who are left behind.

That said, I have been thinking of my story since the death of Robin Williams.

It started in 1971.  That was the year that I became so 
deathly ill from Crohn's Disease.  When I was finally diagnosed, I weighed 
about 88 pounds and had a temperature of 104°  I remember that after arriving at
the University Hospital in Madison, WI, I passed out on the hospital bed.
It was a long road of tests and treatments.  I was in the hospital for over a month, but 
it wasn't the physical disease that would plague me, but it's effects.  The effects of 
the medications would cause me difficulties for life.  The physician wanted to 
admit me to the psychiatric ward.  (I didn't know that Prednisone and other medications
could cause me to become almost bipolar).  I refused.  I was afraid that I would never be 
able to leave!

Finally, when I was discharged and home, I could go back to living my life.  My 
emotions went the spectrum.  One moment I would be cleaning like a 
woman possessed, next, I would fall into a slump without any hope.

I don't know what caused me to attempt suicide.  I think I had an 
argument with my boyfriend.  I really don't remember.  When I got home from our date, 
I ingested all the medications that I owned and went to bed where I shared a room
with my younger sister.

My slurred words woke my sister up as I was saying, "Mamma, I don't wanna die, I don't 
wanna die."

The ambulance was called and I was rushed to the local hospital.  They pumped my stomach, 
intubated me, used the defibrillator, and got my heart beating again, but I was unconscious.
The doctor, in his matter of fact way, told my mother that they did everything and if 
I didn't wake up, I would never be the same.

*******************

Fast forward to 2113.

Speaking to my mother in her room at the healthcare center, mom was recalling how 
each of her children had caused her so much pain, but that it was all worth it.
Of course she mentioned how I would try and kill myself, especially the time described above.

It was forty-two years before I was to hear of my mom's anguish.  She told me about
the doctor and also about waiting.  She told me that when the nurse came out and said I was
coming to, that it was the happiest news for her.  I started to weep and told mom how sorry I was that I had caused everyone so much pain, especially her.

Why did it take forty-two years for Mom to tell me that?

**********************






Friday, May 18, 2018

For Myself

Okay. So no one is reading or commenting on my blog.

I'll write for myself.



 I was feeling down.  One of my neighbors is moving away.
We used to be close, but then, life happened.  I called her when I had
broken my leg.  (I wanted company).  I  half jokingly said, "come over
and make me a cup of coffee!"  Her reply was "Absolutely not!

I felt hurt.  Up until then, it was expected that I should
go over to her house and visit.  We would craft, watch QVC,
and just chat.    

That day on the phone, it all changed.  My brother-in-law 
died, I had changed jobs, my mom was in the healthcare center and then she
died.
My best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It then came back in spades.  I was busy with her,
with our son, my husband and life went on.

My neighbor had her own worries.  Her husband had taken ill.  He
had heart disease, thyroid cancer, open heart surgery, now Parkinson's.  I
was left unaware that any of this was occurring. Their son and his wife were often at 
their house and I didn't want to intrude.  I did leave a card and a note for her.

She got closer to the neighbor across the street.  I feel a bit 
jealous.  Why?  My neighbor had never reached out to me.  My husband
was working so wasn't available to help them out with lawn or snow removal.

The other day I talked to her.  I hope that we can have a visit before she leaves, but who knows?
I doubt that she will call.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

I DO IT EVERY TIME!

I DO IT EVERY TIME!

I get caught up in other people's excitement, and before you know it,
I have made a commitment.

I signed up with Close to My Heart.  Although it is a very 
reputable company, do I really want to be in direct sales again?
I have been having nightmares about hosting a class.  I spent the good part of one 
day assembling 12 card kits.    Now I am having second thoughts, and pretty 
sure I am going to scratch the whole idea.

I was also considering purchasing a Cricut Explore Air, a rather expensive
machine used for paper crafting, vinyl crafting and the like.  Although
I could get one for a little over a $100, do I really need it.

I am also caught up in the excitement of my new stamping buddy, Laura.
She is a big time card maker and enjoys it immensely and even sells her creations!

Not me.  I'm an occasional crafter. 
I am behind in my church's scrapbook.  I am WAY behind in storing my photos
in acid free boxes.  I am way behind EVERYTHING!

*************

LAST WEEKEND

I attended the annual Sayner Stampede with my friend, Laura.
We made so many cards!  We shopped, we ate, we sat in the hot tub!
What a great weekend!











***************



SPA NIGHT

Thursday night we attended a "spa" night.  It was 
really an "opportunity" to try out products 
from Rodan +Fields




 We had a foot scrub, hands massaged, neck and shoulder massage,
(I found a new massage therapist!), and tried out a facial regimen.
I had an allergic reaction to the eye cream.  :(

**************

We had one day of almost summer weather.  It has rained quite a bit and been cold,
making it almost impossible to get at the yard work.  Hoping for Spring soon!

'Till next time....Blessings!



Monday, April 16, 2018

Winter is Back and Other Things

  Ackk!  Winter is back!  The weekend of April 14-16 
was the recipient of Blizzard Evelyn!
Although we didn't get it as bad as some in Wisconsin 
(Shawano had 33" of snow, Green Bay had 25"), we still got our share.
Rain, ice, freezing rain, snow.  Everything was closed  - schools, churches,
and we were told not to venture out!  

These are my blizzard pictures:



We won't be grilling anytime soon!

********************

I offered to chair The Board of Evangelism at my church. So far, 
no one has offered to serve with me.  I hope it is more than a glorified
cookie baker, or I am out!

*****************

I have been getting ready for the Sayner Stampede!  
I have all my things priced for the used stamp sale.


My bff, Linda, is in the green jacket!  Years ago the used stamp
sale was held outdoors.  Brrrr!  We would bundle up and wear our gloves and shop!
  This was a collage posted up in the ladies restroom!

Linda and I started going to this in 2005.  Over the years, 
we added some people to our group:  Carolee, Gwen, my cousin Shirley,  and this year Laura!
(I will have to take a group picture!)

*******************

I have signed up with Avon, mostly to get my things at a discount, but if you're interested:


I also signed up with Close to My Heart.  
I am hoping that I will have classes at my church to do 
fundraising!

*********************


I love this picture of my best friend!  
 We were always each other's dates for weddings
and such, when our hubbies didn't want to go!  Of
course, this was many years ago, but I still think of her like this.


Till later!
Hugs!





Thursday, March 29, 2018

High Expectations

Vacation wasn't all I wanted it to be.  Like a holiday,
we always have such high expectations!

My sister and I were visiting my cousin in Naples, Florida.

The first day we went searching for 
shoes for my sister who has tiny feet.  I found a ton of clothes at 
Beal's Outlet.  Had dinner at Steamers, a popular seafood restaurant.
I am in search of a good crab cake.  This wasn't it.  Went to the beach
to watch the sunset, but the sky was rather hazy.



On Tuesday, we went to the pool to "bake."  Later we went shopping again, still
in search of clothes and SHOES for my sister.  No luck.  Ate a restaurant my cousin
raved about.  Bad service and bad food today.  Oh well, they are entitled to a bad day.
Had a great thunder and lightening storm!  Unfortunately, it brings cooler weather.

.

Wednesday was a cool, breezy day.  Too cool for the pool or beach.  We ate at
Brooks Burgers!  YUM!  Thought we would never eat again!  (that day).  I found two
new pair of shoes!  My sister, Connie found some clothes, no shoes.  We went to Lenten service
and the meal before.  It was made and served by the clients of one of the missions the church
sponsors.  Best clam chowder ever!

On Thursday we just hung out, as it was still too cool and breezy for the pool or beach.
We did our laundry, took a nap, just like home!  That evening we met 
some friends for another seafood dinner.  Skip One is SO busy, but so worth it!
Had fun with the people at the table behind us.  The boy likes alligator.
I asked, does it taste like chicken?  They gave me a piece to try.  Yup, tastes
like chicken!

Connie, myself and cousin, Shirley!

On Friday we went to a dinner show at They Royal Palms Dinner Theater.
Fabulous show!  I loved the singing and choreography and the story was so funny!


My sister had issues with her phone, so we spent the rest of the day getting it fixed.
I don't know if she had a virus or what, but her phone just didn't work and it was
charged.  They had to wipe it and reload it!
While we waited, we ate at Patinella's Chicken Grill which serves a variety of rice dishes.
I had something like a gyros on rice. 
It was tasty but I ordered a regular when a small would have fit the bill! 
Shirley and I worked on some crafts at night, but I didn't get much accomplished.

On Saturday we went to the pool again.  It was beautiful, but there weren't two lounge chairs 
together (my cousin doesn't go to the pool).  My sister and I were moving a lounge chair to the 
other side of the pool, and all was going well until....I tripped on the leg of the chair that was
already down and fell on the concrete!  OUCH!  Bruised my arm, my left foot and my ego.
Two guys helped me up onto the lounge, a couple of ladies offered to get me ice packs, so I 
sat with an ice pack on my arm and my foot/ankle.  No broken bones, didn't hit my head
on the concrete, so thankful for that!  My sister and another woman helped me limp back
to the condo.  My cousin adjusted a pair of crutches for me, but I am way too rusty at it,
and they hurt my hands and armpits. 

We went to Mel's Diner like that.  Mel's changed their d├ęcor
which was a disappointment.  The grouper wasn't as good as I had remembered.
I had a big pity party as I was afraid our vacation was as good as done.



On Sunday, we went to Palm Sunday service.  I was able to limp in as I had been icing my foot.
The service was wonderful!


Cousin Shirley drove me over to the pool area.  I limped over to a lounge
chair, but enjoyed the heat and sun.  The water felt wonderful on my foot!


All in all, it was wonderful seeing my cousin!  We both found clothes
and shoes.  (My sister found some on Saturday before I hurt myself).  Some meals 
were delicious, some not so much; got some crafting done, and GOT SOME SUN!














Sunday, March 18, 2018

Going on VACATION!

Just a quick note:

I'm going on VACATION!

My sister and I are leaving this afternoon for the airport, flying non-stop to 
Ft Myers, Florida.  Our cousin will pick us up there and take us to her home 
in Naples.

I am packed, I have my clothes, and if I need something, I'll buy it!  I also have
stamping and scrapbooking things packed, as my cousin Shirley and I sure like to craft!
My sister, Connie...not so much, but she can watch TV in the evening while we
play!

Looking forward to the sun, warmth, pool and beach!

Woo hoo!
See you in about two weeks!
An old photo:  Connie, Shirley and Me!

Rear view looks much larger than it appears?




Saturday, March 10, 2018

What's New?

WHAT'S NEW

Trying to think what's new in my life?

I have developed pain again at my surgical site (my ileostomy).  I tried increasing 
my amitriptyline for adhesions, but I still have pain.  It seems to get worse as the day
wears on. 
Tomorrow I am going to see a Wound and Ostomy nurse in hopes that she has any idea what is causing this pain.


FLORIDA OR BUST

We were enjoying almost spring like temperatures, but then, BAM!  Mother nature decided
to send us Snowstorm Claire!  The good news is that it's only snow, and not the 
weather of the North Eastern states!

I have been busy packing, deciding what still fits and is comfortable to wear with my 
tummy pain.  It is fun to pack knowing that I will be in warm sunny weather
shortly.

Waves knocked me on my a** (butt)

A LEAP OF FAITH

I offered to take on the position of Chairperson of the Board of Evangelism.  Am I 
nuts, or following a calling?  The board has become non-existent, and we have 
to work on growing our church and relationships with one another and Christ.  Unfortunately,
there is not much I can do until after Easter.


HAPPY NEWS

I have been praying on what to do regarding my godson, Jalen.   He used to go to church 
with his Grandma Linda, but as she became ill and died, so did his church attendance.
It is difficult when he is with his mom in one city and alternates weekends between his dad, mom, and her parents.  I decided that I will just have to burn some gas and go get him.
There are some whom he may be able to get a ride with, so when that happens, that will be a good thing for me!  Tomorrow I am picking him up at his dad's.  Tuesday night he will start 
Confirmation (or catechism) class, even thought it started in September, pastor is 
making an exception for him.  I am so happy about this!  I told him how happy this would 
have made his Grandma Linda!
 
Jalen is on the right and with
his brothers.  He is the only one who is a baptized Lutheran.